The news and comment we’ve spotted online this week
Four Ai Weiwei exhibitions open in Beijing
The Chinese authorities have allowed four Ai Weiwei exhibitions to open with minimal disruption in Beijing, ending what The Art Newspaper calls the ‘de facto ban’ on showing the artist’s work in his home country.
Gwangju Biennial and New Museum Triennial directors announced
Maria Lind, the head of Stockholm’s Tensta Konsthall, will oversee the creative direction of the 2016 Gwangju Biennial, which she envisages as ‘a place where artists, the public, people working in the art industry, and local residents gather together to discuss, relate, and communicate in the name of art.’ She takes over from Jessica Morgan, who now leads the Dia Art Foundation in New York (see Art Outlook: 11 September 2014).
In New York, Gary Carrion-Murayari and Alex Gartenfeld have just been announced as the co-curators of the New Museum’s fourth triennial (taking place in 2018), which showcases the work of emerging artists from around the world.
Obama designates Basin and Range National Monument in Nevada
Some 1,100 square miles of the Nevada desert, encompassing significant archaeological sites and Michael Heizer’s extraordinary land art piece, City, will be protected as a result of the designation. The move has been praised by LACMA and other national museums that campaigned actively for the area’s preservation (see Art Outlook: 19 March).
Stolen Rodin sculpture recovered after 25 years
A Rodin bronze worth around £100,000 has been restored to its owner nearly 25 years after it was stolen from her Beverley Hills home. Young Girl With Serpent was spotted when it was put up for auction at Christie’s. Several other stolen artworks, which were valued collectively at around $1 million at the time of the heist, have yet to reemerge.
MFA Boston in ‘Kimono Wednesdays’ racism row
The museum drew criticism this week for an aspect of its educational programme in which visitors donned kimonos matching that worn by Claude Monet’s wife in his famous painting La Japonaise. It’s since withdrawn the ‘dress-up’ part of the weekly event.